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Textiles 2020 – The Future is Circular


Première Vision Fabrics (PVF), held bi-annually in Paris is undoubtedly one of the most inspirational trade shows to visit when looking for leading directions in fashion textiles. With over 800 exhibitors from all over the globe, the show acts as a hub for networking, inspiration and business.

As you would expect sustainability has been high on the agenda along with the concept of a circular model that incorporates textile innovations that aim to push the industry towards a greener future.

Interviewed at PVF Ester Manas, designer and PV Awards jury member, was asked ‘what inspired her for AW20/21?’ She replied: “Joy and optimism: the focus on sustainability that cuts across all areas of fashion stems, in my opinion, from a desire to always do better, to improve processes while keeping the bar very high in terms of quality and style. It’s a smart bet, one that gives hope for the future.”

This hope and desire to improve the fashion supply chain at every stage is evident within the textiles market. In particular recycling continues to make headway in the fabric and accessories offer. It is becoming a leader in sports with recycled synthetics and elastane, and simpler compositions and constructions that favour post-consumer recycling. 

At Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017, Global Fashion Agenda called on the fashion industry to take action on circularity by signing the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment (henceforth 2020 Commitment) as a concrete way to turn words into action and to accelerate the industry’s transition to a circular fashion system.

To set a direction for this transition, Global Fashion Agenda outlined four immediate action points:

1) Implementing design strategies for cyclability

2) Increasing the volume of used garments and footwear collected

3) Increasing the volume of used garments and footwear resold

4) Increasing the share of garments and footwear made from recycled post-consumer textile fibres.

Leading the industry development, Austrian-based fiber supplier Lenzing Group (Lenzing), the company behind the sustainable textile fiber – TENCELTM, has introduced its pioneering REFIBRA™ technology with two phases of upgrade in 2019, with the vision to make textile waste recycling a common process like paper recycling. 

REFIBRA™ Technology

The first phase of upgrade featured an increase of up to 30% in recycled raw materials usage to further drive circular economy in the textile sector. Produced in eco-responsible closed-loop production process, the new fibers are 100% bio-based, composing of wood pulp from sustainably managed forests together with as much as 30% of pulp from upcycled cotton scraps collected from garment manufacturing process. Most recently, Lenzing announced that amongst for the first time, also post-consumer waste can be used alongside pre-consumer waste, which poses tremendous business opportunities and helps drive greater developments of circular economy.

With the new fiber type, the portfolio of TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers with REFIBRA™ Technology will be expanded to become the ecologically responsible alternative for knitwear, lingerie and towels, in addition to current applications in denim, athleisure wear, apparel and home textiles. Besides having low fibrillation and moisture management properties, the fibers also feature enhanced breathability, along with silky smoothness and strength.

REFIBRA™ Technology

“For several years, we have witnessed a rise of eco-consciousness amongst consumers. Consumers have been demanding more sustainable product options in their shopping list. If a company wants to truly improve its sustainability practice, it would need to re-examine its current business model and introduce new products or technologies with recyclability and reusability in mind. At Lenzing, sustainability is part of our DNA, and we will continue to stand at the industry forefront to assist businesses with the implementation of eco-practices in their operations,” said Florian Heubrandner, Vice President of Global Business Management Textiles of Lenzing. 

REFIBRA™ Technology

Moreover, with an innovative special identification technology designed to confirm fiber origin, TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers with REFIBRA™ Technology are identifiable in yarns, fabrics and final garments. Not only does this improve supply chain transparency, but also gives fashion brands a seal of confidence that the fibers of their products are sustainably sourced and produced. 

Alongside textile innovation and technology, PVF gives invaluable insight into the key textile trends, colour palettes and prints for the oncoming year ahead. With much focus on climate change and environment, it comes as no surprise that nature inspired colour ranges were dominant as we head into 2020. Neutral shades such as ivory, cream, ecru and beige were seen all over the designer SS20 international catwalks. At PVF, blue and green were very prevalent including shades of aqua marine and forest green. Also repeatedly on show were pops of terra cotta, cinnamon and sunset orange.

Nature inspired colour palettes

Innovative textile producers are providing the market with eco-friendly fabrics that fuse technology with ecology whilst incorporated recycled elements are also on the rise. Sustainability is starting to become an integral “norm” within the fashion and textile industry, and as we head into 2020, more designers and brands are re-addressing their supply chain practices to make impactful change.

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